Times Higher Education, the United Kingdom's leading higher education news publication, today released its first-ever international university rankings. American universities dominate the top of the Times list, faring much better than in rankings released last week by former Times partner Quacquarelli Symonds. The disparate results have already prompted debate about the criteria for evaluating and ranking universities.
Pakistani military operations in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan have steered clear of North Waziristan, allowing the area to become a haven for militants. Tribal and local intelligence sources say some 15,000 militants shelter in this semiautonomous tribal belt. “It’s a cobweb,” says former Pakistani diplomat Ayaz Wazir. New alliances between militant commanders in Waziristan have turned this area into a dangerous labyrinth, from which fighters can launch suicide attacks in Pakistan or missions against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. “It's an international war which has engulfed us,” says Malik Khan Marjan Wazir, an influential tribal elder in North Waziristan. “The volcano is in Afghanistan but it erupts in our tribal areas.” For Marjan Wazir, peace won't be found through military operations or drone attacks, but in negotiations at what he calls “real” jirgas (tribal assemblies). “My elders would always tell me a story that if a woolen blanket gets leeches, you don’t put to fire the whole blanket. You pluck them out with care.” Based on interviews with local tribesmen and intelligence sources, here’s a list of the five biggest players in the region:
There’s never a bad time to read about food, but fall is definitely the best. And this year the season is chock-full of glorious offerings. Dig in.
What's selling best in independent bookstores across America. • Published Thursday, September 16, 2010 (for the sales week ended Sunday, September 12, 2010). Based on reporting from many hundreds of independent bookstores across the United States. For information on more titles, please visit IndieBound.org
Jerusalem is considered by many to be the trickiest issue to resolve in a two-state solution to Middle East peace. Israelis see the city as their “undivided and eternal capital” but Palestinians also seek to put their future capital in East Jerusalem, which is predominantly Arab. SPECIAL REPORT: How the battle for Jerusalem plays out in one neighborhood Amid changing demographics and plans for new Jewish development in East Jerusalem, the city has become an intensifying battleground for sovereignty. Here are five reasons why (in no particular order):
Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, has been named by the theme-park trade publication Amusement Today, as the best amusement park for the 13th straight year. Amusement Today also bestowed 24 other "Golden Ticket" awards to parks and rides around the United States. Here are some highlights.
Using information from the International Tennis Hall of Fame website, we take a look at the best players over the years, based on Grand Slam singles victories.
The end goal of the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is two separate, sovereign states. Palestinians say that the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, deemed illegal by the United Nations, influence the outcome of such talks. With more than 300,000 Israelis now living in such settlements, Israel expects to keep at least some of them under a final peace deal – possibly as part of a land swap. An estimated three-quarters of Israeli settlers live on a relatively small percentage of the West Bank, most of them in communities adjacent to Israel proper. Some of them are ideologically driven and some are attracted by the low cost of living; many are motivated by a combination of the two. Here are the five most populous settlements in the West Bank.
Sarah Palin has been an avid campaigner this election season, in some cases plucking insurgent candidates from near obscurity to successfully take on more established opponents. Not all of her candidates have won, but in the world of Republican primaries often decided by a relatively small group of conservative voters, Palin’s blessing – which she’s given to 43 candidates – can be a major factor.
Democrats will be watching the Republican contests closely, hoping for additional upsets by tea party-backed candidates. Democrats hope the Republicans will be saddled with unelectable candidates. Republicans are looking to ride a wave of voter anger over the sputtering economy and politics-as-usual to regain control of Congress. The competition between traditional Republicans and their tea party counterparts is particularly strong in Delaware, New Hampshire, and New York. Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Maryland also hold primaries Tuesday.
Super Mario Bros. turns 25 today. So, grab your plumber hat, dive down a pipe, and prepare to properly celebrate this silver anniversary. Here are four Super Mario Bros. activities to kick off this birthday bash. Click through the blue arrows to read them all.
Eid al-Fitr began at sunset Thursday, when the crescent of a new moon first showed over the Middle East. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fitr means "break fasting." The three-day feast celebrates the end of the a month-long period of Ramadan's fasting and prayer. While traditions don't vary much between Sunnis and Shiites, customs vary greatly from country to country. Here is how five countries ring in Eid al-Fitr.
More than 10 countries have now condemned a Florida pastor's plan to burn the Koran in commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks of nine years ago. As noted in the Monitor article Why the planned Koran burning causes outrage and alarm, "Muslims see it as the uninterrupted, unchangeable, and eternal word of God. Burning the Koran is akin to directly burning the word of God." Here is what leaders are saying worldwide.
What's selling best in independent bookstores across America.
Which country has the most generous people in the world? A poll of 153 countries ranked global philanthropy in three categories: individual donations, volunteer time, and the number of people willing to help a stranger. Gallup’s 2010 World Giving Index Report was released Wednesday.
QS released its annual World University Rankings list of the top 200 universities Wednesday. The UK's University of Cambridge overtook former No. 1 Harvard University, the first time the leading US university was not in the No. 1 spot. Click right arrow to see school's ranked in ascending order.
Will Republicans take control of the House and Senate? All 435 House seats are up for election every two years. A majority in the House is 218 seats. Republicans need a net gain of 39 seats in the Nov. 2 midterm election to get there. Polls now show the Democrats are in trouble. Why?
Since reaching a low last December, US private-sector employment has grown by 763,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday. But some states are better at creating new jobs than others. For example: While California has created lots of jobs, its performance relative to its size is only middling. Here are the Top 5 job-creating states when their size is taken into account (click on the right arrow to see the next state):
Hurricane Earl is threatening Cape Cod's expensive real estate. But it takes a lot more to be one of America's Top 10 costliest hurricanes. Which hurricanes made the list? Click the right arrow to see.
These are the five most central issues that Israel and the Palestinian Authority need to address in the latest round of peace talks, which began Sept. 2.
Burger King stock soared 15 percent Wednesday on reports that it was in talks to go private with Brazilian investors. The British private equity firm supposedly arranging the deal originally denied the report. Then new reports emerged. What might change at Burger King, the world's No. 2 fast-food chain, under new owners? Here are our Top 5 changes (click on the right arrow to see each item):
Auto sales in the US fell sharply in August, compared with numbers that were juiced a year ago by the federal "cash for clunkers" incentive program. But when you compare sales so far this year with the first eight months of 2009, industry sales have at least moved in a positive direction. Here are the top-gaining models for each of the seven biggest car sellers.
At its Sept. 1 event, Apple trotted out a new iPod Nano, a rekindled Apple TV, and even a brand new social network in iTunes 10. This annual fall bash held surprises for almost every device that Apple sells – with one notable exception. “It’s the biggest change in the iPod lineup ever,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the event. Click through to learn how.
Hurricane Earl is possibly coming to the East Coast Labor Day weekend. Preparing for the storm is crucial, emergency experts say. Here are five things the National Weather Service and Federal Emergency Management Agency say are important to hurricane Earl preparedness.